Open feedback can be encouraging

Open feedback can be encouraging

Intervention strategies compared to encouragementBastine (1975, cit. In Antoch, 1981; 144) has collected nine intervention strategies that are used in various types of counseling and therapy: amplifying, simplifying, feeding back, accentuating, interrupting chains of action, confronting, modeling, self-activating, attributing.

In addressing the extent to which other intervening behaviors of a supervisor can be integrated into the individual psychological concept of encouragement, I take my cue from Antoch, who has equally engaged in an attempt to compare intervention strategies (Antoch, ibid.).

While Bastine has dispensed with ordering criteria for the individual intervention strategies, Robert Antoch makes use of an idea of Heisterkamp (1980; cit. In Antoch, ibid.), which divides into structuring and restructuring methods. Accordingly, Antoch counts amplifying, simplifying, feedback and accentuating among the structuring methods, interrupting chains of action, confronting, modeling among the restructuring methods, and assigns self-activating and attributing to both categories. This division, which seems to make sense, has been adopted.

The amplifying – extension, further executions
The supervisor expands the problem awareness of the supervisee. Inaccurate, ambivalent, contradictory, unfinished elements are made conscious in order to enable the supervisee to approach his problem on the basis of a broadened capacity for insight and, subsequently, to engage in constructive debate.

Complex experience contents and contexts are reduced to simplified, clear and surmountable facts.

In this category, the decision is made as to which behavioral aspect of problem analysis and coping should receive central attention.

In the two forms of intervention strategies "Simplify" and "Accentuate" we meet objectives of the encouragement strategy: to give courage and to (re)classify and understand the problem. All three of the above strategies serve to concretize:

– the interested and circumspect questioning of the SR in the case of stereotyped and phrase-like descriptions – the request for detailed descriptions of the course of events

Abstract descriptions, stereotyped and phrase-like terms are used to cover up the experience that causes feelings of insufficiency in the supervisee. If the supervisor is able to create an atmosphere of trust that gives the supervisee the security of being valued despite his shortcomings, the supervisee can regain access to his own experience and actions. Perceptual exercises. Role playing games (cf. S. 71) can be used as invigorating methods.

The feedback
The supervisee receives (evaluative) information from the supervisor about his behavior. In this category, the supervisor must first put himself in the supervisee's experience and mental structure before taking a position from his own structure. Open feedback can have an encouraging effect if, for example, the supervisee has not yet dared to try out individual behaviors in cooperation with colleagues and clients because he feared their leaning on him; or if he was not aware of the extent to which he was challenging and encouraging the undesirable behavior of others with his actions. The supervisee can (unexpectedly) experience recognition, register and work on his own effectiveness, he could learn to feel accepted despite his faults and also accept himself. In this form, feedback belongs to the group of interventions that lead to restructuring via structuring.

The self-activation
Within the encouragement strategy, self-activation takes a superior position. All forms of interaction on the part of the supervisor aim to enable the supervisee to solve his or her problem on his or her own initiative. Bastine describes individual aspects that should influence self-activation:

– Avoiding advice, interpretations, explanations; little guidance in content – providing therapeutic knowledge – observing and registering one's own behavior – self-determination in goal setting, analysis, planning, and approaches to solutions; agreeing on limited therapist competence – independent evaluation of behavior and self-reward – verbalizing goals (motives) and problems – encouraging (presumably successful) self-initiatives – taking on tasks outside therapy (Bastine 1975, cit. In Antoch, ibid., 152).

Bastine attributes interpretations and explanations in particular to this category, while they are to be avoided in the aspects of self-activation. Antoch removes the inconsistency by pointing out that, in principle, interpretations should be offered as working hypotheses.

Self-activation and attribution are in a common context in the sense of Heisterkamp, who already sees the beginning of restructuring in structuring.

Interrupting chains of action
Bastine describes the interruption of chains of action as the stopping and changing of habitual patterns of action and thought in order to restructure entrenched problem areas (Bastine 1975; in Antoch ibid., 153). The aim of intervention strategies is to use alternative options to consider and, if necessary, eliminate learned automatisms, habits, supposed necessities and self-evident behavioral patterns.

This refers to the influence of other people on the behavior of the person seeking advice. To incorporate this category into the encouragement strategy, the supervisee's existing problem-solving skills should be activated and channeled into promising directions. Examples and role models of how the supervisor himself or others have dealt with similar problems tend to distract or oppress the supervisee's insecure position rather than being helpful.

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